Project Management Handbook

1. Overview

As a means of ensuring that all projects undertaken are planned, managed and delivered in a nationally consistent manner that takes into account the concept of best value and are fully compliant with all applicable legislation, regulations and Treasury Board policies, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has established a (NPMS). This framework is overseen by the Project Management Advisory Council (PMAC). PMAC was formed to strengthen departmental project management capacity and facilitate inter-branch cooperation. In addition the PMAC shares best practices, ensures systematic use of project management tools within the department and ensures all branches deliver projects in a consistent manner. The PMAC also oversees that the NPMS is kept up to date.

1.1 Purpose and Scope

The purpose of the NPMS Handbook is to provide common guidelines for managing Business Projects - IT-Enabled at PSPC. It outlines the project management framework, standards and procedures to be used for project management.

It is the policy of PSPC to use the NPMS to ensure that all projects undertaken are planned, managed and delivered in a nationally consistent manner that is transparent regarding scope, schedule and budget, while taking into consideration the concept of best value. Projects must also be fully compliant with all applicable legislation, regulations and Treasury Board policies.

This NPMS Policy - PSPC applies to all PSPC Real Property Projects and Business Projects - Information Technology - Enabled, and, at the discretion of the Department, non-routine initiatives that have characteristics analogous to a project such as: a limited time span with fairly well defined start and end dates; a clear outcome, output and budget; identified high risk and cost; a requirement for dedicated resources.

When to use this Handbook:

This handbook should be used by anyone working on an IT-Enabled Business Project at PSPC.

1.2 Project Management Guidelines

The project management guidelines used at PSPC are in accordance with the TBS Policy on the Management of Projects and the NPMS Policy - PSPC This link is available only to clients with access to Publiservice, the Government of Canada extranet..

1.3 What is a Project?

A project is a defined undertaking with a beginning and an end to be executed to create a unique product or result. Within PSPC the three main project categories are as follows:

  • Business Projects - IT-Enabled are either:
    • New solution projects which develop new solutions to achieve efficient and effective business processes and service delivery that are facilitated by Information Technology; some of these projects may transform business practices.
    • Maintenance projects which implement changes to existing products, results, services, applications or systems.
  • Real Property Projects: All real property asset acquisitions or improvements, including entering into a lease, fit-up of accommodation space, construction, renovation and remediation of a built-work (building, bridge, dam, road, etc.) or crown-owned land.
  • Non-routine initiatives - at the discretion of Branch Heads, non-routine initiatives that have characteristics analogous to a project; such as a limited time span with well defined start and end dates, a budget and dedicated resources, a clear business outcome, and a high risk profile.

1.4 Roles and Responsibilities of the Client/Business Line Owner

The client/business line owner (often at the ADM or DG Level) will own the results of the investment delivered by the project and is ultimately responsible for making sure the business requirements are defined and ensuring that the delivered capability meets the needs of the business. Normally, the business line owner funds project costs (unless there is a joint initiative). In support of the business line owner there will often be a business project lead (often at Director/Manager level) that will provide on-going support for the project.

The client/business line owner is responsible for:

  • acting as champion for the project;
  • developing the Business Case and ensuring that the appropriate approvals are obtained;
  • providing/securing project funding;
  • approval of the project charter;
  • chairing the Project Steering Committee, where applicable;
  • reviewing and approving certain project deliverables and major change requests;
  • identifying and approving required changes to project scope, cost and schedule; and,
  • periodically reviewing the Project Status Report with the Project Manager or Project Lead.

1.4.1 Responsibilities of the Project Lead

The sponsoring branch or sector carries out the function of Project Lead (generally at the Director Level). The Project Lead is responsible for the planning and delivery of the project. In support of the Project Lead, there will be a Project Manager who will provide ongoing management for the project.

The Project Lead is responsible for:

  • planning, controlling and providing overall direction of the entire project in accordance with the NPMS Framework;
  • ensuring the project is managed within the defined project scope;
  • reviewing and endorsing the project charter;
  • approving and making recommendations on major changes that impact scope, time and cost;
  • liaising with the Project Steering Committee;
  • acting as primary project interface between the Business and the Delivery Branch; and,
  • conducting any project procurement activity (or delegates this to a Procurement Manager).

1.4.2 Responsibilities of the Project Manager

The primary objective of the Project Manager is to meet the project objectives. The Project Manager is responsible for:

  • managing the project and project team on a day to day basis;
  • ensuring the success of the project from the project initiation through to the planning, delivery and close out phases;
  • planning and controlling the entire project in accordance with the NPMS Framework for Business Projects - IT-Enabled;
  • achieving the defined project objective (scope) within the allocated cost and schedule, in accordance with the approved project charter;
  • creating the project schedule and defining tasks, in addition to monitoring and tracking time and status scheduled tasks;
  • escalating project issues to the appropriate levels;
  • reviewing proposed changes and assessing their impact on the project costs and schedule;
  • maintaining the risk/issues log (or delegates this to a Risk Manager); and,
  • scheduling and conducting status meetings during the entire project.

1.5 Project Governance

Project governance is the process by which high-level decisions are made about a project, such as whether to approve changes to its scope. Governance is used to balance the interest of stakeholders and to provide high level approvals and guidance to the project team. Effective project governance requires clear terms of reference, processes, escalation procedures, and decision making bodies.

Project governance is defined and articulated in the project charter. The Project Steering Committee and the Project Management Team are the principal, but not the sole governance structures for most projects. Each project, regardless of its size, is integrated within the departmental and branch governance reporting, review and approval structure. The intention is to ensure that an enterprise focus is implemented across the entire portfolio of departmental and branch projects. Portfolio management matches specific project initiatives to strategic objectives and business needs.

In the NPMS, the goal is for projects to deliver products that address business needs which have been defined, developed and prioritized from a strategic level downwards. Decisions about whether to proceed with projects are tied to the organization's strategic needs, to the investment plan and to the benefits and outcomes that can be generated by a project relative to other proposed projects. Linkage is provided through the core NPMS project management deliverables from the statement of requirements onwards. The NPMS core deliverables are used to justify proceeding to the next project stage or phase.

1.5.1 Business Operations Committee - BOC

The Business Operations Committee (BOC) is the Deputy Minister's principal forum to receive debriefs from the Associate Deputy Minister and Assistant Deputy Ministers (ADMs) on major projects and initiatives, and to monitor progress on the priorities and directions of the Department. This committee is a forum for all business lines and their governance committees to provide updates and address operational and strategic business line requirements as needed.

1.5.2 Departmental IM/IT Steering Committee - DISC

The Departmental Information Management / Information Technology Steering Committee (DISC) is the primary decision body responsible for making departmental IM/IT decisions or recommendations about IM/IT projects/initiatives and activities. DISC provides an enterprise perspective in managing IM/IT. DISC strives to promote the alignment of all IM/IT investments to PSPC strategic objectives, and ensures that approved non-program specific IM/IT investments continue to provide business value throughout their life cycle supported by the Governance Liaison Office. DISC also promotes the application of the Management Accountability Framework (MAF). DISC reports to the Departmental Policy Committee (DPC).

1.5.3 IM/IT Architecture Review Board - IM/IT ARB

The IM/IT Architecture Review Board (ARB) is an advisory body for enterprise architecture decisions. The ARB has the mandate to create a common vision and ensure architectural compliance across the enterprise in areas associated with the delivery of IM/IT solutions, including:

  • IM/IT architecture (Technology, Services, Solutions)
  • IM/IT guidelines, principles and standards
  • IM/IT security, services and compliance
  • IM/IT privacy/policy, services and compliance
  • IT applied research

The IM/IT ARB ensures that the technical solutions developed by projects are aligned to the department planning directives and priorities. In so doing, IM/IT ARB is mandated to make enterprise architecture recommendations to the Departmental IM/IT Steering Committee (DISC) including those related to IT investment direction. The IM/IT ARB and its associated working groups will also take strategic direction from the Department IM/IT Steering Committee (DISC).

1.5.4 enterprise change advisory board - ECAB

The enterprise change advisory board (ECAB) provides authority and management controls for all majorFootnote 1 category changes (including but not limited to business applications and IT infrastructure services) relating to the PSPC enterprise production environment. The ECAB also provides the PSPC enterprise-level change authority for the Chief Information Officer (CIO). The approval authority for development/rollout of a change falls under the umbrella of the CIO ECAB and/or a business line CAB depending on how the change is categorized. The ECAB may also delegate authority to business line CAB(s) to authorize significant, and minor changes to their business line applications as well as to authorize infrastructure commodity changes in support of their applications and environments.

There are three gates where a decision for change approval is requested by the ECAB. These occur at the following stages of a change process:

  • Gate 1: Request for Change (RFC) Introduction - RFC is in the state of "awaiting impact assessment review" and ready for introduction at the CAB.
  • Gate 2: Review for Development Approval - RFC is in a state of "awaiting development approval review" with the Impact Assessment and Change Plan completed.
  • Gate 3: Review for Rollout Approval - RFC is in the state "awaiting rollout approval review", release plans are also included for review.


Footnote 1

Return to footnote referrer 1

Refer to the ECAB Change Management Process for more details on project categories and ECAB gates.

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